Weather turns tropical across Siberia

Temperatures of up to 35C force exodus to river and lake beaches. The abnormally hot weather has seen temperatures some 8C above average across a vast swathe of southern Siberia. On 12 June – Russia Day – new records were set in Novosibirsk (30.4C) and  Tomsk (31.5C), and in Tuva Republic (31.7C). The Saudi Arabian-like heat wave, still ongoing, has stretched to the east of Krasnoyarsk region, with the highest temperature being 35C.

Over the next two days southern Siberia will remain abnormally hot, some 7C higher than average.  The hot June sunshine has led locals to flock to beaches in the regions of Novosibirsk, Tomsk, Kemerovo, Altai and Krasnoyarsk, and the Republic of Tuva. The authorities say the heat wave increases the risk of wildfires, an annual summer problem across Siberia.

In some areas there is an ‘extraordinary’ level of fire risk. People have been warned against making camp fires, or throwing cigarette butts on the ground. The vacation weekend – Monday was a public holiday – saw huge traffic jams as there was an exodus from cities. On 11 June, children were evacuated from a holiday camp in the Republic of Buryatia because of a nearby fire.

The blaze was safely extinguished after the children had been moved to capital Ulad-Ude as a precaution.